Doing The Best I Can

As I type this, it’s been an hour since The Princess was tucked into bed and about 90 minutes since she and I wrapped up a long chat curled up together on the couch, her in my lap and me with my arms wrapped around her, cradling her like the baby she used to be.

She’d been touchy this evening, and when I wouldn’t answer her question while I was on the phone, she burst into tears. Both of my girls are emotional (in fact, Pumpkin is crying as I type this – she has a cold and is too congested to sleep) – The Princess probably more prone to tears and crying jags than Pumpkin, and though I am glad that she expresses her emotion, sometimes I just don’t know if she’s crying because there’s something bubbling beneath the surface that is eating at her or if she’s just ticked off because she didn’t get her own way (that happens sometimes).

When I asked her to sit with her sister on the couch to make a quick “happy birthday” video for my dad and she dissolved into tears, it was quite obvious that something was really on her mind. As prone to tears as she might be, it was an odd reaction. We sat on the couch for awhile, me letting her know that she could talk to me, her sniffling and wiping the tears off her face.

Finally, what it came down to is that we’re too busy. By we, I mean me and the girls (it’s tax season, so yeah, it’s me and the girls). This afternoon, The Princess got a last minute phone call from a buddy asking her to come play as I was trying to get us out the door for another wedding-related errand for my sister. I was already late and the unexpected stop frazzled me. I was also frazzled by the disappearance of Pumpkin’s coat, The Princess asking if she could go select some toys to take along, and my mother calling me to ask me why I hadn’t left my house yet. By the time I’d herded the kids into the garage to pile them into the van, my nerves were frayed. I rushed them out of the house. I rushed them into the car. I was hurried and short with my words and as we were walking out of the house, I slammed the door behind me.

And hours later, it was still bothering her. Hours later she still felt like I had been upset and that it was her fault and she was sad.

I felt devastated.

I talked to her about how we were trying to do too much at once. I talked about how I am just trying to get everything done. I told her how we’re all doing the best that we can – but that sometimes I need to be reminded to chill out and to take a deep breath. I promised her that if she can talk to me and not yell or get stomp-y, I WILL listen. That I love her and I’m sorry for making her feel bad. And I also told her that tax season is poopy (Really, that’s what I said). That it’s a very busy time for our family and things get a little bit harder and so that we need to remember to try harder to use our words rather than have our mom-sized hissy fits.

At that point, she was over it. She burst into giggles as soon as I said tax season was “poopy” (She’s six and she IS her father’s daughter, so bathroom humor is HILARIOUS).

It’s hard, though. I have always been the type to go through my life feeling like though I had friends and family who loved and cared about me, I never really made an impact on anyone – that I never really left an imprint. And that’s not to say “Oh poor Sarah” – but to say that I felt that everyone’s lives go on, and nothing was dependent on me or my moods or my actions or my words. Having children is a reminder all the time how much I can affect someone. I have never truly felt it so much as I do right now.

About sarah

Sarah is a book nerd, a music lover, an endorphin junkie, a coffee addict. Oh, and a goof ball. She writes, she tweets, and she sings off key.


  1. They teach us so many lessons those little and not-so-little kids we have the pleasure of knowing. In some ways, the smaller they are, the bigger the lessons. It can’t get much bigger than: slow down, breathe, be mindful. I hope today is better.

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